A Companion Series for Asta and the Barbarians

Back in 2017, while my epic fantasy novel Asta and the Barbarians was in the process of being published by Tirgearr Publishing, I was also taking some creative writing classes at my community college. In my Intermediate Fiction writing class, I was challenged to write a short story every two weeks. It was difficult but also tons of fun to brainstorm and create so many stories in such a short amount of time. Some were always destined to be short stories; others I felt deserved to be expanded upon but it wasn’t the right time.

After Asta and the Barbarians was published, I began working on a romance novel titled I Dare You to Stay With Me which I ended up self-publishing, and then I quickly began preparing my science fiction/fantasy novel The Andromeda’s Ghost to be published through BHC Press. This year, I self-published a book with my sister, a urban fantasy novel titled Death’s Curses. While finishing up with Death’s Curses, I was also communicating with BHC Press because they are in the process of getting The Andromeda’s Captain (book two in The Andromeda Chronicles) ready for publication. And after Death’s Curses was published, I raced through the end of The Andromeda’s Crew (book three in The Andromeda Chronicles) after which I decided to dive headlong into the complex world of book marketing. I’ve been snatching free ebooks, and signing up for free webinars as well as relatively inexpensive marketing classes as I come across them. I’ve been emailing reviewers and organizing advertisements and other promotions for my books. I’ve scheduled cross promotion with other authors through my newsletter and social media accounts. It has been exhausting, but necessary to grow my audience and get my name out there.

With The Andromeda’s Crew in the hands of my beta readers, I can’t do any more work on it. At least, not until I get their feedback. In the meantime (because I don’t know how to be idle) I’ve moved on to the next project on my list, the short stories I created back in 2017! Whenever I had writer’s block while working on projects from 2017 up until now, I would go back to one of those short stories specifically. I shared it here on the blog at one point; back then it was titled A Match Made in the Hollow. Slowly but surely, I’ve built upon it until, just last week, I finished it. It’s not a short story anymore but a 130 page novella titled Jessa and the Lost Goddess.

This is the first installment in a series of novellas which are companions to Asta and the Barbarians. These novellas are set in the same world as Asta and the Barbarians but focus on different characters. All of these characters are chosen for a specific task by one of the Heavenly Masters (gods and goddesses) that were introduced in Asta and the Barbarians. In the last novella of this series, these new characters will meet up with Asta and her friends in order to help them achieve a very specific task. While Asta’s story was set on the Island of Holger, these novellas will be set on the “mainland” which was mentioned often in Asta and the Barbarians but never expanded upon. I’ve had numerous fans ask for a sequel to Asta’s story over the years and I’m so excited to finally be able to do so. I sincerely hope I can live up to your expectations or at least entertain you for a little while. 😉

Tirgearr Publishing produced Asta and the Barbarians so they get first dibs, but they can choose not to publish this series. If that happens, I’m going to self-publish these so no matter what, you will get to read these very soon! I’ve submitted a synopsis and an overview to Tirgearr Publishing and am waiting for their response now.

More news to come!

Death’s Curses Book Blog Tour

My new adult urban fantasy novel, Death’s Curses, is going on a blog tour (hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions) from August 16 – 27th. What does this mean? It means that for the next 12 days my book is going to be highlighted on 13 different blogs. I’m including the tour schedule as well as links to each host blog because you’re going to want to tune in and enter the rafflecopter contest! A random visitor will be selected to win a bookmark, a custom made candle inspired by one of the characters in the book, and an ebook copy of the book itself (US participants only — Sorry, UK, but I’m too broke to mail anything to you!).

Why am I doing a blog tour? Well, for one, because I’m running out of creative ways to spread the word about this book without sounding like a used car salesman. But also because I’m excited to give this custom made candle away. I met this gal through Instagram and, right from the beginning, she was a joy to work with. I could tell she cared about her craft and her customers. She gave me a list of colors and scents that I could play with in order to create a candle for each main character in this book, Charlie, Esmeralda, and Jasmine. Then she sent me short Instagram reels during each step of the creation process, asking questions to be sure I was satisfied with my order. The candles came out great! Each scent is unique and portrays each character perfectly. I kept one, I gave one to my sister and coauthor, and now I’m giving the last one away to one of you!

So I hope you get a chance to visit one of these blogs and enter the contest this week! If you can, please leave a comment. I’ll be visiting these host blogs too and will answer any questions you might have. I’m looking forward to the chance to talk to my readers. 🙂

As promised, here’s the tour schedule:

8/16: Westveil Publishing

8/17: Becoming Extraordinary

8/18: Romance Novel Giveaways

8/19: All the Ups and Downs

8/20: Literary Gold

8/20: FUONLYKNEW

8/23: Welcome to My World of Dreams

8/24: Dawn’s Reading Nook

8/25: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love

8/25: Fabulous and Brunette

8/26: Kit ‘N Kabookle

8/26: Sadie’s Spotlight

8/27: Christine Young

Ebook Excerpt Readings

Hi everyone!

For those of you who aren’t following me on social media, my ebooks (In the Dark and Asta and the Barbarians) are 50% off through Smashwords for the entire month of July. To get everyone hyped, I’ve been using Instagram Stories to share excerpt readings from these two books. I update my Stories every Thursday morning, alternating from In the Dark to Asta and the Barbarians. I posted the final excerpt reading for In the Dark today and plan to do one more reading of Asta and the Barbarians next Thursday. I’ve also posted two excerpt readings on Youtube so no one has to miss out, but if people like the idea of tuning in every Thursday on Instagram, I’d be more than happy to continue doing readings until I finish Chapter One of each book. My publisher, Tirgearr Publishing, has given me permission to post that much. Let me know in the comments if anyone would be interested in that.

These excerpt readings were actually my publisher’s idea. It’s not something that’s done very often and they wanted to try something new so they suggested it to all of their authors. I was apprehensive at first because I’m camera shy but also a bit self-conscious about how I read. Despite that, I thought I should try. I’ve never gone to a live reading; for one, I never know when and where they’re happening and, once I do find out, it’s always somewhere far away from where I live. I think it would be awesome to be able to watch a video of one of my favorite authors reading an excerpt from their book for FREE so I thought I’d at least give you guys the option.

I hope you get the chance to check out my Instagram Stories or at least watch one of the readings on Youtube. If there’s enough of an interest, I can read from my other books and share them on Instagram too. 🙂 Remember, the Smashwords ebook sale will be over in 9 days so grab a copy of whichever book strikes your fancy while they’re only $2.49!

Death’s Curses Release Date

Editing for Death’s Curses is finished! I’ve gone over my editor’s comments and have applied some minor changes. It’s done! Now, I’m working on all the formatting involved to make the paperback and ebook look and feel like books that were traditionally published. It’s not hard work but it is time-consuming. I have even more respect for all of the wonderful people involved in this part of the publication process.

I’ve set a publication date for June 1st so anyone who is currently in possession of an eARC, please be prepared to post your review during that week. Anyone who posts a review will be receiving a custom made bookmark as a thank-you.

ARCs are still available to anyone interested in a free ebook in exchange for an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads. I have epub, mobi, and PDF versions.

In other news, the ebook and paperback will be marked down for a limited time after publication because it will be participating in the Kindle Storyteller Contest. So, if you’d rather wait until after publication to get a copy of this book, it’ll be on sale until August.

Extra extra! Read all about it

Proud to announce that The Andromeda’s Ghost has been chosen to be featured in BHC Press’s curated list of Discover These Must-Reads!

BHC Press uses Bookshop.org as their online store because of its mission to help independent booksellers. Each purchase at Bookshop benefits independent bookstores. As of today, they have donated over $11 million to local bookstores in the US. They also recently launched in the UK in November of last year and have already donated over $1 million to UK bookstores. There are plans to launch Bookshop in Canada and Australia soon, and Europe following that. Please support local bookstores by shopping at Bookshop.org.

To see the full list of these Must-Reads published through BHC Press, click here.

Edited to add: The Andromeda’s Ghost ebook has been selected to participate in Barnes & Noble’s 2.99 and Under Ebook Sale for the month of May! To celebrate this, BHC Press will mark down the ebook in all their other retailers. What does this mean? It means the ebook for The Andromeda’s Ghost will be on sale for $1.99 from Saturday, May 1st – Saturday, May 29th! If you haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet, next month may be the perfect time!

This week, I heard back from Lucy Felthouse, my editor. She said she’s more than halfway done with her edits on Death’s Curses! This is the same talented lady who edited In the Dark and Asta and the Barbarians for me (published by Tirgearr Publishing) so I know she’s going to do a great job.

Once I receive the manuscript back from her, I’ll look over her edits and make necessary changes. Then it’s formatting time, where I make the manuscript look and feel like a real book. Amazon then creates a print proof for me, a physical copy of the book, that I can review. And once that’s approved, this book will finally be published! I’m aiming for the end of May/beginning of June but I’ll keep you guys posted.

ARCs are still available to anyone interested in a free ebook in exchange for an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads. I have epub, mobi, and PDF versions ready.

Social Media Update

Just wanted to let you all know that I’ve taken a break from Twitter in order to devote more time to connecting with readers through Goodreads. I log on once a week to post on some discussion boards and answer reader questions. If anyone wants to connect, you can find me here.

Cover Reveal for Death’s Curses

Hey everyone!

So sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few months. Life has gotten the best of me but I haven’t been idle! Here is the long-awaited cover reveal for Death’s Curses:

This beautiful cover was created by the talented Cora from Cora Graphics. I’m completely in love with it! As usual, Cora captured my and my sister’s vision for this cover perfectly and we’re so excited to showcase it to you guys!

These are the three main characters of the book Esmer, Jasmine, and Charlie. The story alternates between their three points of view. This is the first book where I alternate between more than two characters and it was so much fun to head hop!

The manuscript is now in the capable hands of Lucy Felthouse who edited my ebooks In the Dark and Asta and the Barbarians. Since Death’s Curses is so long, it’ll take several weeks if not a whole month to be edited. My sister and I have gone over it so many times I’ve lost count; I’m confident there will be very little work that will need to be done after our editor takes a look, but it never hurts to have another pair of eyes on a project this size. We want it to be as polished and professional as any book produced by a traditional publisher. We still don’t have a definite publication date but I will keep you updated as things progress.

There are also ebook ARCs available in mobi, epub, and PDF if anyone is interested in a free book in exchange for an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads!

Mom, I Need You

Mom, I need you

I’m a newborn babe and everything is scary

Loud sounds, strange smells, bright lights

But I know your voice

And in its soft melody I find peace.

Mom, I need you

My gums hurt, I bumped my head, I’m hungry

Can you make it all better?

Mom, I need you

I’m a toddler exploring the world around me

But I don’t know how to be careful

Won’t you teach me?

Mom, I need you

I’m starting school and I’m a bundle of nerves and excitement

You’re sure I’ll make friends? You’re sure it won’t be too hard?

Mom, I need you

The world outside our home is so harsh

Kids are mean, teachers are demanding

Won’t you remind me who I am?

Mom, I need you

I didn’t make it into the soccer team but all my friends did

How do I deal with this rejection?

Mom, I need you

I have a crush but they don’t even know I exist

What do I do?

Mom, I need you

I’m starting high school and I’m terrified

How am I going to survive these next four years?

Mom, I need you

I just had a big fight with Dad

I know he loves me and I love him too

But I’m starting to feel like a grown up and he still treats me like a kid

Will I ever be an adult in your eyes?

Mom, I need you

I just got dumped for the very first time

My heart feels like it’s slowly dying

How will I ever get over this?

Mom, I need you

My friends aren’t who I thought they were

I feel so stupid and lost and alone

How will I ever trust anyone again?

Mom, I need you

I made a mistake, a big one

I don’t want you to be disappointed in me but I don’t want to hide things from you either

Can you forgive me?

Mom, I need you

I’m graduating high school and I have no idea what I want to do next

Did you ever have this problem?

Mom, I need you

I want my own money and more responsibility

But I’ve never been on my feet for this long

And working with other people is frustrating sometimes

Why is being an adult so hard?

Mom, I need you

Exams are coming up

My professors want more from me than I think I can give

I miss being home

Can I quit college?

Mom, I need you

I’m getting married but I still feel like a kid

Can you tell me everything is going to be okay?

Mom, I need you

We had our first big fight

I don’t want to lose this person I love so much

But I don’t think I’m wrong either

How can I make things right?

Mom, I need you

I’m having a baby of my own and there are so many changes up ahead

I miss when things were simple

Can’t things go back to the way they used to be?

Mom, I need you

This baby won’t let me sleep

My body hurts, my house is a mess, I’m so utterly exhausted

And on top of that I still have to go back to work

Can you help me?

Mom, I need you

My baby is sick and I don’t know what to do

Should I take them to the hospital?

Mom, I need you

My baby seems to need me all the time

I want to rest, indulge in old hobbies, have a quiet moment with my husband

Will I ever get to do what I want?

Mom, I need you

My baby is starting school

Time’s going by too fast

How can I make it slow down?

Mom, I need you

My baby is having a hard time making friends and finding their niche

What words of wisdom and comfort can I give them?

Mom, I need you

My baby is making decisions that I don’t agree with

I want to be a good parent but I don’t want them to get hurt either

What should I do?

Mom, I need you

My baby crashed our car

It’s going to be a while before we can buy a new one

Can I borrow yours in the meantime?

Mom, I need you

My baby is all grown up and leaving the house

I’m so happy but also very sad

Is this how you felt when I was going off to college?

Mom, I need you

I’m enjoying all this free time with my husband but I also miss my baby

Isn’t this what I wanted? Why can’t I just be happy?

Mom, I still need you

The wrinkles in your face are deep and your eyes are misty

But your voice works just fine

And in it’s soft melody I still find peace.

A Promotional Opportunity for The Andromeda’s Ghost

This month I was invited to participate in a roundtable discussion hosted by Fellowship of Fools, a well-respected website that features all things science fiction. Along with other BHC Press science fiction authors, I answered several interview questions centered around the current divisive political situation and how it could potentially affect speculative fiction. I also submitted a two minute video of myself reading an excerpt from The Andromeda’s Ghost.

It was nerve-wracking, recording myself as I read, realizing that the end result would be posted online for the whole world to see. I was equally anxious as I answered each question, fearing that I would offend someone. But the whole experience was extremely cool. It left me feeling like a pro. Plus, it was an opportunity to promote The Andromeda’s Ghost, for which I was very grateful. If any of you are interested in reading the interviews or watching the excerpt readings, click here to be redirected to the Fellowship of Fools website.

Aside from our interviews and excerpt readings, there are a lot of other cool things on the Fellowship of Fools website that anyone would be interested in. You’ll find interviews with producers and actors, articles concerning popular TV shows, movies, and books, as well as teaser trailers. Check it out!

On a completely different note: am I the only one who really hates the changes that have been done to WordPress recently? It took me three tries to get this post looking the way I wanted it to. There was nothing wrong with the other format! All right, I’m getting off the soapbox now…

Writing Highlights for the Month

The major revisions for Death’s Curses are finished! It was just as challenging as I thought it would be, turning this young adult story into an adult one. My publisher said that simply changing the ages of the main characters wouldn’t be enough. The themes of the story are definitely in the adult category but the situations the main characters are in are still, technically, juvenile. Changing some of the situations while also making sure they worked with the overall plot was the main issue. But I think I managed.

After talking with my sister about some of the changes I made, we brainstormed some finer details that could be altered to make the characters sound more grown up. I’m confident that this book will meet the Adult Fiction parameters once we’re done applying these new changes. My sister is looking over my edits, then I’ll give it one more read through, and we’ll be re-submitting to BHC Press. Fingers crossed that it’ll be accepted this time. If not, my sister and I are considering self-publication. More news on that later.

BHC Press has started this new thing called Staff Picks. Staff members take turns choosing their favorite titles from the books the company has already published. They write short blurbs about them and post them on the company’s blog page. I’m proud to announce that The Andromeda’s Ghost has been highlighted twice!

Chelsea (acquisitions and lead editor) said: “Taren Platinum is the perfect protagonist without being too perfect. He has a good heart, but there’s a layer of grit just beneath the surface that’s activated by those who stand in the way of his happily-ever-after and evil-doers who prey on the innocent. Becca Fox has crafted an endearing, incredibly real-feeling cast of characters, all of which are misfits in their own way. I was taken by the relationships formed throughout The Andromeda’s Ghost, from the natural progression of those relationships to the tenderness shared among the loveable and unlikely band of characters as they work together to escape a dire situation on planet Cartiss. In short, it’s impossible not to root for Taren and company while reading The Andromeda’s Ghost–a truly entertaining start to what’s sure to be a great series. Be prepared for an expert cliffhanger, and then join me in impatiently waiting for the next book in Fox’s series!”

Lana (publishing and editing assistant) said: “This is one of my new favorites! The classic forbidden romance meets outer space and aliens in all the right ways. Even with the twist beginning (yes, it’s at the beginning for a change), I loved the story and how it unfolds. I was reminded of the TV show Firefly by Taren’s growing ragtag family. Becca Fox did an amazing job unfurling the worlds of this unique solar system–the alien species, foods, customs, environments, etc. I’m super excited to find out what happens to Taren and the gang!”

If you’d like to read their blog posts and discover new titles to read, just click on each of their names.

In other news, production on the audio book is wrapping up! According to my latest communication with my publisher, they estimate it’ll be done sometime in November or December. Stay tuned because I’ll be letting you all know the precise release date as soon as I know it!

Last Minute June Announcements

 

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The Andromeda’s Ghost is available for pre-order! Links can be found on BHC Press‘ website, along with the most recent reviews. Like audio books better? Well, you’re in luck! Production for the audio book is underway. BHC Press estimates this project will be complete by the end of the summer, in time for a fall release.

Smashwords sale

It’s that time of year again, folks. Tirgearr Publishing is teaming up with Smashwords to make all of their ebooks 50% off for the month of July. Check out my Smashwords profile starting tomorrow for a chance to purchase one of my ebooks for half price.

Death's Curses New (2)

I’m still waiting to hear back from BHC Press concerning the publication of Death’s Curses. They said they’d get back to me four to six weeks after I submitted it so I should be getting an email any day now. Ugh, the waiting kills me! (I made a new graphic for the book in the meantime. Ain’t it pretty? Only took me two hours lol.) There’s a rough draft version available for your perusal on my Inkitt profile page in case anyone is interested in taking a peek.